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Private Independent school - is it too challenging for my son with potential ADHD?(6 Posts)
My 9 year old son Ben currently goes to a good independent school. We decided to move schools in year 3 as it was evident, that he was falling behind and would have difficulty catching up. Going private has really helped in some ways, (he is how aiming to be over average in his English class, smaller classes etc), but in others I feel that it has over challenged him. Ben has never had a confirmed diagnosis of any behavioral issues, until recently. In year 4, the school flagged up Ben's disruptive behavior in class and with his peers and recommended I seek help outside of school, to see what could be done for Ben and his challenges. Almost a year on and soon to have my second visit at CAMHS, they have given their opinion that Ben suffers with ADHD. I have however in the past had an O.T say it was Dyspraxia, another Dyslexia (I am aware they are linked). 2 weeks ago, an O.T came to the school to observe Ben throughout the day. She believed he only had behavioral issues. I am literally at my wits end with not knowing where I stand here. As his mum, I believe he has problems that he simply cannot control. It is getting to the point at school, they are getting annoyed with Ben's behaviour in class, where he simply will not do what the teacher asks of him, sits under the desk and will not budge (he complains of tiredness). His peers wind him up, because they know they can and he then lashes out and gets in trouble. He has been rude to teachers and openly defiant when an adult asks something of him. The flip side is that he is an extremely sweet, sensitive, loving child. I am not sure if he is in the right school or not and this is what I want to ask of any of you out there in a similar situation. Is a high pressured school, that maybe cannot manage Ben, the right place for him? This seems like a simple enough question, but Ben says he loves his school, has friends and wants to remain there. I asked the SEN coordinator whether in her honest opinion Ben could cope with his schooling. Her response was 'yes' and that the problem is that Ben cannot apply himself in class and make the right decision on walking away when people tease him. He is a bright boy, but takes his issues into the classroom with him. He is then rude or disruptive and is asked to leave the class.
To make matter a little more difficult, I am a single parent and even though I have a reasonable relationship with my ex, he does not believe that Ben has any major problems and that behavior can be managed by punishment and encouragement. I have been trying this since he was 5 years old and still feel there is an issue.
He has agreed to come to CAMHS with me, but believes that it is likely to be a waste of time!
I am really feeling the pressure with this. If anyone can give me any advice, i would be extremely grateful, as I have felt so alone with this for such a long time.
What are the alternatives?
Is he your only child? If not how are siblings doing?
How does he behave at home and for XH?
Does he misbehave for all parts of the day/subjects or only for some?
What would he like to do?
Does he have a good set of friends?
How would school like him to combat the goading?
Where will he move on to for secondary?
How long is his school day?
How many other children with additional needs are there at the school (ask if you don't know because you might be surprised at how much company you have)?
Unless you changed his name, it may be better to have this pulled and repost without it.
Private schools have quite an emphasis on good behaviour. I have to say that now i am in the private sector myself, i have found some teachers to be quite old fashioned and lacking in tolerance of issues. I would also say they are
Less inclined to deal with issues. I am lucky, i work with some fab people but we have had kids in from other schools who clearly couldnt be bothered with them. It may be that the environment is not right for him. Everything he is doing is showing that he is unhappy so they need to be putting some more proactive strategies in place rather than saying 'its all his fault' which it sounds like they are doing. The one thing that is essential with any sort of difficulty is consistency in parenting and schooling. Praise and reward are essential but also very clear and defined boundries. It sounds as if other students are winding him up. Perhaps he needs a safe cool down place to go like the library when he feels he is going to explode.
Hi zzzzz, Thanks for your message - yes he is my only child and the school day is a long one, 8.20 -4pm. I think his behavior does become worse in certain subjects and usually gets worse when he has been wound up before a lesson, or it is at the end of the day, when he is really tired. His behavior definitely worsens when he isn't engaged in a subject he is interested in. He gets bored easily I guess, which makes him easily distracted. He cannot sit still when he is like this and likes to tap and bang his desk. We have given him a special toy to fiddle with to help alleviate this, but not always with success.
Ben does have a set of about 5 friends in the class. He says that the rest of them do not like him and some think he is in an idiot!
The school have spoken to the children involved in the goading, but as I said to Ben, if he could just ignore the teasing, they will move on to someone else. He seems really sensitive to what anyone says, sometimes even when it is a joke. He takes it personally and then gets angry angry and hits out. The school have also witnessed several times, where Ben has hit out without any provocation.
We are currently looking at secondary schools for him, but haven't decided yet, as it is early days. My thoughts are whether it would it be better to move school now in in year 5 and put him in an independent school which will take him through to 18?
There are a few difficult kids at the school, but I do get the feeling, that if you don't fit into 'the mould' then there isn't the support that should be available when you are paying this much money over the term. I am going to arrange a meeting with school after half term, so will ask what else they intend to do. If anyone has any other suggestions to put forward to the school, I would be grateful.
thanks for your advice - I am speaking in code language though!
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